In Sri Lanka elephants are endangered and ivory carving, as an art, is dead. Sri Lanka was once famous for the number and quality of its elephants, whose tusks were carved and exported since ancient times. Although Sri Lanka became, successively, a pivotal outpost for the Portuguese, Dutch and English, details about the Ceylonese ivory trade appear in trade documents only rarely. And yet, if information is not to be found there, does that mean ivory trade did not occur? Trade documents, after all, do not tell the whole story. Smugglers, illegal traders, big game hunters and plantation owners all played a part in the disappearance of elephants and its corollary, the ivory trade. When archival evidence is viewed in combination with physical evidence and the anecdotes of visitors and residents, it becomes evident that ivory remained an integral part of trade and crafts in Ceylon well into the last century.